In the days before patterning sock yarn, we had to work pretty hard to make a good random colour mix yarn. These days patterning sock yarn has made sock knitters of practically all of us and the stockpile of little leftover balls from these projects grows and grows.
I love those little balls like I love a button box, but the more there are, the more I'm tempted to play with them. The fruit of this play is mine all mine as I consider it free yarn and usually want to make something for myself from it. Of course you don't need little balls at all-2 regular balls of sock yarn with sufficient colour diversity will be fine as well.
A simple garter stitch scarf can be fun to knit up with this method. This one was done using a cast on of about 20 stitches. With two strands held together, just knit every row changing and mixing at will or when one your little balls runs out. When your scarf is long enough just cast of loosely and darn in the threads. You could even make two or three of these bands to sew together to make a wider scarf with lots of colour interest.
These easy projects make use of the fact that two strands of fingering or sock yarn knits up like a strand of light worsted weight yarn and is therefore a quicker knit. It also gives the opportunity to make a mix of many colours-more than usual even in most patterning sock yarns.
To make a fingerless glove project, assemble all your little balls and find two of each with similar colours in the mix. Use these, one for each, to make the two mitts, so they will be more or less matching. (If matching isn't a priority, ignore this last consideration.)
Start in on the pattern, working two strands together.
*On 3 mm. double point needles, cast on 40 stitches (double strand). If you are a tight knitter, use a larger needle. Join to form a circle.
K1, P1 around for about 40 rounds or 5 and one half inches. This makes the cuff.
At the beginning of a round, save 11 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb.
Cast on 3 stitches to replace them, using the simple backward loop cast on method, to bridge the gap they left.
Continue knitting on these "hand" stitches until the work reaches midway on your little finger or to desired length. Bind them off.
Go back to the reserved thumb stitches and divide them among three needles, marking the beginning of the round. Knit rounds until the beginning of the thumb nail or to desired length. Bind off.
Make the other mitt in the same way.
A rolled brim hat in stocking stitch can be made following our Stitch Archive pattern from September 2010, called the Cloud Cotton Hat, but utilizing the 2 strand method with fingering or sock weight yarn.
*Garter stitch, ribs or stocking stitch: they all look good using up your little leftover balls.* --Shirlene Greer
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